Even a large natural foods store will probably give you only a few options to choose from when selecting your hot peppers. Based on the prevalence of Anaheim, habanero, jalapeño and Serrano peppers, you might not realise that there are many other hot peppers with varying levels of intensity. These range from the relatively mild Hungarian cherry pepper and chilaca to the extremely spicy Scotch Bonnet, macho and naga jolokia. Depending on your personal spice tolerance, however, any of these peppers might make you want to suck on an ice cube to stop the burn. There are more effective ways to do this, however.
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Spit out any remaining spicy food you have in your mouth if you can do so tactfully. Continuing to chew it will only cause the burning feeling in your mouth and throat to intensify.
Eat a piece of bread. The bread might help absorb the spiciness of the pepper.
Consume some form of dairy, such as milk, ice cream or yoghurt. Swish or move the dairy around in your mouth so it comes into contact with all the parts of your mouth that are burning. The dairy will help ease the burning sensation much more quickly and effectively than water or juice would. Swallow the mouthful of dairy, then take another. Repeat this process until the burn has vanished or calmed to a bearable level.
Tips and warnings
- If your hands are burning from handling hot peppers, wash them with soap and water then submerge them in milk or yoghurt.
- Try eating a spoonful of sugar if your mouth still burns after eating bread and dairy.
- Do not touch your eyes, face or any other sensitive parts of your body after handling hot peppers.
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